A mosaic installation for the new wing of Mosaika Escola de Arte in Porto Alegre, RS, Brazil. This project was a collaboration with the Director of the school, Cátia Usevicius Maia.

The expansion of the school would add a new classroom on the second floor that would be accessed using the stairs. The installation runs the length of the stairs to the second level of the school andincludes the wall at the top of the stairs. It took more than a year of planning to make this project reality. After many renderings, FaceTime meetings, and drawings, we found ourselves in beautiful Brazil to work on this installation and inaugurate the new classroom with some workshops.

Seventeen school members took part in the making, and we led the process along with Cátia.

The design was inspired by the colours, vibrancy, and exuberance of Brazil.  

For the stairs, we imagined a flat grouted mosaic for both functionality and design to give the mosaic continuity throughout the fragmented space created by the steps and not impede the stairs' function. The wall then allowed for a much freer approach. The participants were given more leeway to interpret the design when fabricating the mosaic inserts. They got to work with a variety of materials and textures in the larger open space.

We wanted the artwork to unify the space despite the different techniques used on the stairs and the wall. To achieve this we used color and shape correspondence as well as extending the black-silhouetted figure and the solid red line to create a continuum between the stairs and the wall.

“This collaborative project brought Argentina, Brazil and Canada together to create a beautiful work that delights everyone who visits Mosaika.”

— Càtia Usevicius Maia - Director of Mosaika
“It is much more than technique. The exchange of ideas, the dynamism, the diversity, and the pleasure of being part of this group. Christian encourages each of the participants to get involved far beyond individual doing, helping us look at the composition as a whole, in a zoom movement from near and far, from the individual to the collective, like a director of an orchestra. Erin invites us to notice the dialogue between the tiles and the substrate, to see the rhythm and the vibration of the color. I am grateful to have had Erin and Christian at MOSAIKA art school.

A project with a professional, careful planning, and with the necessary flexibility to be carried out in a group. Enthusiasm, tiredness, energy, hands at work, laughter, and the contagious joy of good mentors. The three, Erin, Christian and Cátia shared an authentic passion and did not spare their knowledge.

What a magnificent experience. Thanks for everything!

— Ange Shigihara